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Out of the millions of immigrants who fight to come to the U.S. every year, retired boxer Ignacio Orestes Salazar Batista finally won the match.

It began many years ago in his hometown of Holguin, Cuba. Salazar’s cousin was going to the gym to spar, and Salazar, then 15, went along in case he needed to defend his cousin. He was afraid the more experienced boxer would try to do more than just box.

At the gym, Salazar was asked if he would like to put on gloves to spar. He had never seen boxing before, but he geared up for a loss that would lead to a career he never imagined.

Published in 2017